People are curious about the world. This curiosity encourages the exploration of this beautiful planet to discover beyond the boundaries of our own country. Not surprisingly, tourism is the most rapidly developing industry, with over 1.1 billion people traveling annually all around the globe.
With all the benefits as employment, economic growth, etc., tourism also brings negative side effects. Trash pollution, overflow of people, the lack of accommodation, and the most importantly – the threat to long-term preservation of natural wonders and historic sites.
Here you can find a list of places that are already affected by tourism. Keep reading.
Venice is slowly sinking. It has been battling rising water levels since the fifth century. Natural and man-made factors make the city flood about 100 times per year. Generally, it lasts from October till late winter.
Tourists don’t help either. During the high season, Venice becomes so overcrowded that some of the most popular places are unreachable due to tourism. It is counted that 80,000 visitors per day are exploring the city. Moreover, the majority of these tourists come by cruise ships that negatively affect waterways and the historic areas they travel through.
The Great Pyramids, Egypt
Unfortunately, only one, the Great Pyramid of Giza, can represent the Great Pyramids. The site has been affected by mass tourism for many decades. The damage is irreversible and all the efforts to preserve this wonder cause even bigger destruction.
The Roman Colosseum, Italy
The Colosseum is 2,000 years old, and tourists are adding to the decomposition of Rome’s great Colosseum. Gradually weakening the structure, tourists steal or move the stones, draw graffiti, all this and more are daily challenges of the great monument.
Stonehenge, United Kingdom
The mysterious and phenomenal Stonehenge attracts many visitors. Sadly, people are damaging the prehistoric stones by chipping away at them. Those that are restoring Stonehenge are not able to recreate the prehistoric stones in their original manner.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is a main source of money from tourism in Cambodia. A part of the money is dedicated to the maintenance and recreation of the ancient temple. Foot traffic and graffiti are the main causes of destruction. Without prevention together with restoration this structure may just decompose on its own.
It is hard to believe that this distant location can be affected by tourism. All the factors come together with the increase of the cruise ship traffic: it provokes water pollution, declines the coastline and threatens local fauna. Luckily, the visits to Antarctica are controlled by strict regulations: there is a limit to a number of people that can be on-shore at the same time. Moreover, ships that carry more than 500 passengers are not allowed at any of the landing sites.
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
The Phi Phi islands of Thailand is a top choice of many travellers. The increase in tourism caught the attention of resort developers. Locals are taking actions of keeping their treasures safe. For instance, another popular tourist island, Koh Tachai, was recently closed to allow the environment to rehabilitate and rest itself. It’s likely to happen with the The Phi Phi islands also.
Great Wall of China
The total length of Great Wall of China is 21,196 km and annually two thirds, which is around 8,000 km, is destroyed by tourism. The destruction is caused by the number of visitors who walk on it. Additionally, environmental erosion also cost a damage. The one of Seven Wonders of the World lacks government funding to prevent the harm.
Machu Picchu, Peru
This ancient Inca village receive a lot of attention. And the tourism industry is flourishing here. Unfortunately, it negatively effects the location. UNESCO has even considered placing it on their list of World Heritage in Danger. Even though the government is limiting the number of visitors per day (no more than 2,500), it still doesn’t help to prevent irreparable damage.
Galapagos National Park is an extraordinary place, especially due to its’ views and diverse ecosystem, which is a very delicate one. In 2007 UNESCO placed the location on its World Heritage in Danger list. There are many tourism related restrictions, for example, groups can enter Galapagos National Park only with a licensed guide who accompanies them.